News featuring innovations, accomplishments, and awards by water industry professionals and water agencies.

Hausmanns-Vallecitos Water District-landscape makeover-waterwise-WaterSmart

Winning Waterwise Landscapes in the Vallecitos Water District

San Diego County residents continue to embrace a conservation ethic by creating beautiful, waterwise landscapes. The Vallecitos Water District reports that more District water customers are reducing their outdoor water use and adopting WaterSmart practices. Three Vallecitos customers are the most recent examples of the landscape makeover trend, creating beautiful landscapes, and winning the regional […]

WaterSmart Landscape Contest-Lauren Grey's new landscaping filled with vibrant blooming plants is the 2021 Vista Irrigation District Landscape Makeover Contest winner. Photo: Vista Irrigation District Vista 2021 Contest

Trio of Waterwise Landscapes Win Vista 2021 Contest

Three homeowners in the Vista Irrigation District won recognition recently from the VID board of directors in its 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. The annual contest recognizes outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on overall attractiveness, appropriate plant selection, design, appropriate maintenance, and efficient irrigation methods. Winning plan solves erosion problem with beautiful blooms The “Best in […]

Padre Dam Municipal Water District-Landscape Makeover Winner-WaterSmartSD-drought

Hard Work Pays Off for Padre Dam Landscape Makeover Winner

Frank Edward’s Santee home is bursting with bright colors and textures. Vibrant yellow, orange, red, green, and purple flowers, and drought-tolerant, native plants spring to life where there was once just dry and patchy grass. “It was a lot of hard work but it was also a lot of fun,” said Edward. “It was great […]

Native plants-drought-City of Escondido-Landscape Makeover

Native Plants Garden Wins 2021 Escondido Landscape Makeover Contest

As California experiences another drought cycle, homeowners in the San Diego region continue to makeover their landscapes with native plants that need less water. An Escondido couple recently transformed their landscape to save water and won the City of Escondido Landscape Makeover Contest too. Escondido homeowners Michael and Teresa Everett first learned about the 2021 […]

El Cajon homeowner-Otay Water District-2021 Landscape Makeover Contest

El Cajon Homeowner Wins Otay Water District’s 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest

El Cajon homeowner Christine Laframboise’s water-saving landscape design trading turf for a less thirsty approach was named the Otay Water District’s 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest winner. The annual contest is held by water agencies throughout San Diego County to award one resident from their respective service area for their water-saving landscape. Otay selected Laframboise for […]

Sweetwater Authority-Landscape Makeover-Native Plants-Drought

Native Plants Highlight Sweetwater Landscape Contest Winner

Chula Vista resident Paul Rodriguez gave up struggling to maintain his thirsty green lawn in favor of a new landscape design featuring California native plants and shrubs. The Sweetwater Authority Board of Directors selected Rodriguez’s makeover as its 2021 Landscape Makeover winner. The WaterSmart Landscape Contest is an opportunity for homeowners to showcase landscape designs […]

Rosalie Dosik-Helix Water District-Landscape Contest-WaterSmart

Unused Pool Transformed into Helix Water District 2021 Landscape Contest Winner

Mount Helix homeowner Rosalie Dosik turned her unused pool into a waterwise backyard oasis and the winning project in the Helix Water District 2021 WaterSmart Landscape Contest. The annual competition recognizes outstanding water-wise residential landscapes based on overall attractiveness, design, efficient irrigation, and appropriate plant selection and maintenance. Dosik’s bright and textured landscape represents years […]

Metropolitan Water District of Southern California-Adel Hagekhalil-GM

Water Authority Congratulates New MWD GM Adel Hagekhalil

On June 8, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California Board of Directors voted to approve Adel Hagekhalil as the next General Manager replacing Jeff Kightlinger, who announced his retirement. Hagekhalil is scheduled to meet with the San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors at its June 24 board meeting.  The San Diego County […]

An employee looks into a section of pipeline. One of the projects receiving an award.

Water Authority Wins Four Awards for Outstanding Projects

The American Public Works Association and American Society of Civil Engineers recently presented the San Diego County Water Authority with four awards for construction projects that exemplified outstanding skill, dedication and collaboration from staff in many departments. All of the projects were underway or completed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and project teams navigated shutdowns, adapted […]

Olivenhain Municipal Water District-CWEA-award-water recycling

Recycled Water Facility is Plant of the Year

Olivenhain Municipal Water District’s 4S Ranch Water Reclamation Facility is the California Water Environment Association‘s Plant of the Year. The District’s Board of Directors accepted the award at its May 19 meeting from California Water Environment Association San Diego section. The Plant of the Year award acknowledges OMWD’s accomplishments in compliance, innovative practices, and cost‐effectiveness. […]

Meadowlark Water Reclamation Facility employee Ivan Murguia monitors water quality. Photo: Vallecitos Water District

Vallecitos Water District Recognized for Innovative Technology at Mahr Reservoir

The Vallecitos Water District received two awards for its innovative use of technology to reduce algae blooms at the Stanley A. Mahr Reservoir in San Marcos. The district received the “Excellence in Action” award from the national WateReuse Association, and the “Innovation and Resiliency” award from the California Association of Sanitation Agencies, or CASA. The […]

Water Utility Hero of the Week-Phil Stevens-Primary-Padre Dam MWD

Water Utility Hero of the Week, Phil Stevens, Padre Dam MWD

Editor’s Note: This feature highlights water utility employees in the San Diego region working during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure a safe, reliable and plentiful water supply. The water industry is among the sectors that are classified as essential. Phil Stevens, Padre Dam Municipal Water District Senior Lab Analyst, is the Water Utility Hero of […]

San Diego County Water Authority-Tish Berge-Assistant GM

Tish Berge Joins Water Authority Executive Leadership Team

Veteran water industry executive Tish Berge is joining the San Diego County Water Authority as assistant general manager, bringing experience from every aspect of water utility management to serve the region. Berge is currently general manager of the Sweetwater Authority, one of the Water Authority’s 24 member agencies. Berge starts her new role February 22 […]

The Water Authority's Water News Network won a Bronze Bernays Award from the Public Relations Society of America San Diego/Imperial Chapter.

Water Agency Outreach Efforts Honored

The San Diego County Water Authority and three of its member agencies were recognized Dec. 17 by the Public Relations Society of America San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter for outstanding work in public outreach and education efforts. The 2020 PRSA Bernays Awards were presented for communication on a variety of platforms, all designed to inform stakeholders […]

Water Authority building-Mona Rios-primary

Mona Rios Elected Vice Chair of Water Authority Board

The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors on Thursday elected Mona Rios as vice chair to serve with Board Chair Gary Croucher and Secretary Jerry Butkiewicz. She is the first Latina to serve as a Board officer in the Water Authority’s 76-year history. Rios joined the Water Authority Board in January 2020, and […]